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The ACLU, One Muslim Student, an Activist Judge, and Prayer at Graduation

by John F. Wilhite, Ph.D., for World Observer 12 June 2006

Freedom of speech vs. freedom of religion, the minority vs. the majority, a Muslim vs. Christians, an activist judge vs. the Constitution, and the ACLU vs. the people


Muslim student, ACLU fight graduation prayer at KY school 

"Terms like Jesus Christ, heavenly father, and the prayers were offensive to me," the 17-year-old Muslim, Arshiya Saiyed, said.  But the ACLU and the Muslim with her comments that are offensive to Christians lost the fight because the Court Order Does Not Stop Students From Saying the Lord's Prayer and Thanking God at Graduation Ceremony. 

The blogosphere is buzzing with banter on the incident as the intolerant secularists will not remain silent about a small victory for religious freedom as in the case of the following piece:  The writer of this related item, Free Speech Offers No Right to Suppress Others' Religious Freedom (Tucson Citizen, Charles Haynes, 6.2.2006), with its deceptive title, berates those exercising freedoms of religion and speech, suggesting they should respect the one-person minority and her attempt to silence Christians.  The "others' religious freedom," although inaccurately written in the plural (others'), refers to the religious freedom of one Muslim student from an Islamic country in the midst of 3000 Christians in Kentucky, USA.  Haynes admonishes the majority to be tolerant of--and silent in the presence of--the minority.  The writer, a "senior scholar" at the First Amendment Center, erroneously states that the judges' order was proper, which it wasn't as pointed out clearly by this Update 2 June 2006

And here is the same article by Haynes with a different title appearing on a different web site (interesting way of getting extra mileage out of one piece of writing):  Prayer protest at graduation: Fighting over God and country by Charles C. Haynes, "Kentucky students imposed Christian prayer on public ceremony even though there are legal, fair ways to acknowledge God at graduation."  (05.28.06)   Notice the use of the term "imposed" and the insinuation that what the students did was not legal and not fair.  Those reading the facts of the incident will readily see that the events were legal, fair, and not imposed on anyone. 

The "legal and fair ways" Haynes suggests are a moment of silent prayer (a secularist tactic to silence free speech--silence is not speech) and/or holding the graduation away from school and organized by parents, disregarding other permissible ways as pointed out in Update 2 June 2006.  Such "reporting" makes one curious about the title "senior scholar" (of what?) and use of the name "First Amendment Center" for a web site with so little knowledge of the First Amendment and Supreme Court and federal court rulings related to it.  He merely cites a school board policy but does not refer at all to any legal documents.


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